This is not a Perodua, at least not yet. For now, it's a digital render done by 3D artist Idiyaz Baharuddin that was posted online. But in a more interesting universe, this could be a new addition to the line-up.
Though some details on the 3D model have been altered, mostly up front, the car is clearly based on the Toyota Yaris Cross, a B-segment SUV based upon the Euro-spec Yaris hatchback (you know, the one the GR Yaris is built on).
While the Ativa uses the DNGA platform, the Yaris Cross uses the unified Toyota New Global Architecture that underpins everything from the Corolla to the hardy Land Cruiser and pretty much everything in between.
Naturally, there are no plans, at least none that are officially underway, to bring the model to Malaysia even through local distributors UMW Toyota, so the chances that it could find its way here under the Perodua banner are almost absurdly slim.
However, there are rumours that Malaysia’s second local automaker is interested in a larger SUV with ‘Nexis’ being a potential name with it already trademarked by P2 years ago in the lead-up to the Ativa’s launch.
As the second-generation Alza (based on the Daihatsu Xenia) has joined Perodua’s list of cars built on the DNGA platform after the Ativa (based on the Daihatsu Rocky), there aren’t any other models for them to use as a basis to develop a new model from.
It would need to be designed and developed from the ground up, which is obviously much costlier and more time-consuming.
Still, it’s fun to imagine if they were allowed to offer a second crossover, one that was more stylish, TNGA-based, better equipped, and more upmarket to give cars such as the Honda HR-V and Proton X50 something to really worry about.
In markets where the Yaris Cross is sold, it’s powered by either a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder with 120PS paired to a CVT gearbox or a series hybrid that mates a slightly altered and de-tuned version of that same combustion unit with a rear-mounted electric motor that also endows it with AWD.
System output is a little lower at 114PS but compensated for with slow-speed instant response and improved fuel economy thanks to that hybrid element.
Meanwhile, back home, Malaysians have only very recently been offered a chance to drive (but not own) an Ativa Hybrid through a leasing program that Perodua is using to ascertain our appetite for new technologies.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.